FAQs – Equine Vaccines

Q: I just purchased a five year old horse with unknown vaccination history, what does she need?

A: Vaccinations for horses are split into 2 groups: core and risk-based vaccines. The type and number of vaccines needed will be determined by the horses age, health status, anticipated use and management practices. Horses that either have never been vaccinated or their vaccine history is unknown should receive the initial priming vaccine followed by a booster in 28 days before they go on an annual vaccination to schedule. This schedule maximizes the efficacy of the vaccine and strengthens the horse’s immune system.

Q: My horse travels to shows in and outside of the state, are there any other vaccines I should be giving?

A: Vaccination against contagious diseases such as influenza, equine herpes virus (rhinopneumonitis) and strangles should be considered for horses traveling, boarding at horse barns, show horses and for horses managed at other at high-risk areas. Risk of disease may vary throughout the year or based on the horse’s health status. Contact our office at 406-446-2815 to set up a customized vaccination program for your horse

Q: My mare just foaled out, when does the foal need its first vaccines?

A: The answer depends on if your mare was fully vaccinated before and during pregnancy. Typically your foal will not need a vaccine until 4-6 months of age. 

Q: I have a stallion and a mare that I would like to start breeding, what shots do they need and when?

A: If you plan on using your horses for breeding, please contact the clinic at 406-446-2815 so that we can discuss a vaccination program specific to your horse.

Q: Can I administer vaccines to my horse myself or does a veterinarian need to do it?

A: The Rabies vaccine is the only vaccine that state and federal laws require a veterinarian must give. All other vaccines can be administered by non-veterinarians. However, administering vaccinations incorrectly may create health problems or limit the effectiveness of the vaccine. Additionally, many of the pharmaceutical companies the produce vaccines provide assurance guarantee programs for their vaccines if administered by a licensed veterinarian. This means that if a reaction or side-effect occurred from the vaccine and it was administered by a veterinarian, the pharmaceutical company would help support the owner financially in seeking medical attention for their horse.

Please contact Dr. Casey Gruber at 406-446-2815 for a personalized vaccination program for your horse.